This week’s free Reporter print newspaper carries a full page ‘festive message’ from Councillor Jeremy Kite, Leader of Dartford Borough Council.  The heading for this article is ‘Much to look forward to for Dartford in 2015′.  At the time of publishing today’s update, this does not appear to be online.  The e-edition of the paper can normally be accessed at

One million vehicles are now registered to Dart Charge accounts with journey times significantly quicker according to new data released yesterday by the Highways Agency.  According to this press release from, ‘early data suggests drivers are already experiencing significant improvements, with average journey times between 7am and 7pm cut by more than 9 minutes southbound, and more than 4 minutes northbound when comparing the first two weeks of December and the end of November’.  However, this article from BBC News notes that about 85% of motorists are paying but the AA said it was more than twice the predicted failure-to-pay rate of 7%.  The AA had received complaints from drivers caught up in traffic jams at roadworks during the festive period; also that underlining failures of the payment system remain and will have contributed to the 13,500 drivers a day who don’t pay.  A full statement from the AA is available at

Although the story of Dartford being the second worst place to live in the UK emerged earlier this year, this article from tries to offer an explanation.  ‘In contrast to some wealthier parts of Kent, people in Dartford score poorly for happiness, dismally for life satisfaction, and show abnormal levels of anxiety.  This is another turnaround from last year, when it emerged as the happiest town in Kent.  It flew in the face of generally high levels of happiness across the county, and therefore may suffer from harsh comparisons with more booming towns’.

Tuesday’s Small Business of the Day, as featured by Dartford Borough Council was FV Repro of Lowfield Street, ‘quality print services’.

A Dartford man has been sentenced to 180 days in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of shoplifting –

Driver taken to hospital after car crash in Heath Street –


Thursday 29 January – Jam Nite at The Black Horse Bean.  ‘Musicians come and join in probably the best jam night in kent; all music lovers invited’.



Yesterday’s update included details of DBC’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol for Rough Sleepers.  The following comment was subsequently added ‘What a shame the temperature has to reach zero for three nights before action is taken on rough sleepers’.

About the author

Andy Clark is retired after a long career at Lloyds Register and subsequently the Civil Service. He has lived in Dartford for his entire life.

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